The £800,000 house in Clinton Road - minus half its roof, minus its rear and minus its west wing

The £800,000 house in Clinton Road after the collapse – minus half its roof, minus its rear and minus its west wing – but neighbours want to know how closely was the extension and basement-digging project inspected by Vale building surveyors.

In the wake of  yesterday’s collapse of a house in Clinton Road, Penarth,  questions are now being asked about just how thoroughly the Vale of Glamorgan Council is discharging its statutory duty of building inspection.

Vale of Galmorgan Council Highways Department engineers were on the scene last night - but how often were its building surveyors inspecting the works ?

Vale of Glamorgan Council Highways Department engineers were on the scene last night – but how often were its building surveyors inspecting the works ?

Last night, one of the homes next-door to the collapsed building had to be evacuated temporarily whilst unsafe parts of the structure were demolished.

Gas and electric supplies were turned off and a Health and Safety consultant attended the scene.

This morning only part of the front of the original 1920s house was left standing. Part of the rear of the building which had not already collapsed, was razed  to the ground last night by a professional demolition team.

Workers were back on the site today, clearing the littered front garden of the premises and ensuring that any remaining loose or damaged parts of the structure were removed or made safe.

Bite size chunks were taken off the remains of the building this morning

Bite size chunks were taken off the remains of the building this morning

The Labour-controlled Vale Council – as the local authority – is required by law to have its qualified building control surveyors keep on eye on various key stages of stages of demolition and construction . The Vale says on its web site that legally no one can start demolition work unless the local authority has been notified and that certain requirements need to be met including :-

  • Notifying adjoining owners and service providers
  • Removing and disposing of asbestos
  • Limiting the effects on adjoining properties

During construction the local auithority also has to be involved

  • before pouring concrete foundations at the excavation stage;
  • before covering up concrete foundations;
  • before covering up damp proof courses;
  • before covering up hardcore laid for the floor;
  • before covering up new drains;
  • at least five days after covering up new drains and roof timbers;
  • at least five days before occupying the building/or when work is finished.

The Vale Council is also responsible for providing a “Completion Certificate” which certifies that the building work has been carried out and completed satisfactorily  and in compliance with the approved plans.


Some of the key load-bearing parts of the structure appeared to be supported only by pieces of 4X2 timber

At the rear of the building – where excavations had been made for a new basement – some of the key load-bearing parts of the structure appeared to have been supported by pieces of standard 4X2 timber

It’s yet to be established just how closely council officers kept up to date on what was happening in Clinton Road . The application for the proposed extension/ basement had been opposed by a several neighbours and was opposed in Planning Committee by Conservative Vale councillors   – but was voted through by Labour in a procedural mix-up .

Vale of Glamorgan Council planning officers had recommended there should be a presumption in favour of sustainable development”.

Utilities engineers turn off gas and electricity before a large mechanical grab removes the west wing of the building

Utilities engineers turned off gas and electricity before a large mechanical grab carefully brought down the remnants of the  west wing of the building

Last night and today veteran Vale Councillor Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) was on the scene gathering the views of concerned neighbours in Clinton  Road and also chronicled on camera the partial demolition of the 1920s home.

Now you see it - now you don't. The West wing of the house succumbs to demolition

Now you see it – now you don’t. The West wing of the house with its unique drum-turret first floor bay-window succumbs to demolition

IN planning committee Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) had spoken out against the project

In the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) had spoken out against the project

Cllr Williams – who has a professional background in the construction industry – had criticised the original planning application  when it first came before the council planning committee.

He agrees with a local resident who had told him she thought the “standard of what was happening on site was terrible“and that there had been a “stop-start approach” and ” lack of site supervision” .

Cllr Williams says “ I was very strongly against this application as were qualified neighbours, but this was voted through anyway. and I (and others) have watched this project with great misgivings – believing the safeguards were in place, which clearly they were not –  or this would not have occurred.”

Bond Demolition operators photograph teh remains of the house after the demolition of the rear and the west wing

Bond Demolition operators photograph the remains of the house after the demolition of the rear of the building and the west wing. The rest is to remain standing – for now.

What's left of the £800,000 detatched house. It's a lot smaller than it was .

What’s left of the £800,000 detached house. Daylight can be seen through the front bay window where the roof and ceiling  once were .

An old map of the area provided by PDN commentator Ben Salter. The red cross marks the position

An old map of the area provided by PDN commentator Ben Salter (see comment below). The red cross marks the position



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  1. Andrew sarchus says:

    Ah so………….there Labour was in vain. Clinton road eh! maybe an omen for Hilary……or a warning 🙂

  2. Brickie says:

    I hear the sound of lawyers rubbing their grubby hands together

  3. Timothy Hughes says:

    Is it the contention of this article that Councillor Williams and the “qualified neighbours” objected to the planning application on the basis of the likely danger to the structural stability of the property? If so this would be quite extraordinary since the application would not contain sufficient information on which to base such an objection.
    With regard to the role of Building Control I have little relevant experience, but reading the exerts of their responsibilities, detailed in the article, they seem to be more related to ensuring that the permanent works (as opposed to the temporary works used by the contractor) are in accordance with the Building Regulations. That said all parties must have a responsibility where unsafe working is identified.

  4. Mark Foster says:

    Here’s Sid and his brother Vik.

  5. Guido says:

    TH is correct in saying that the planning process would not consider the structural integrity of an existing building when considering any proposal to extend the same. Any objections made on that issue would not be considered relevant to the planning merits of any application made. As for the role of Building Control, it is my understanding that while they have powers in regard to unsafe structures that could be a danger to the passing public, their remit does not extend to the structural integrity of a building during any redevelopment, only that ongoing new-build works meet codes and current standards.

  6. Ben Salter says:

    The ground in that area is very wet as it stands on the course of one of Penarth’s ancient streams.
    Westbourne Rd takes it’s name from one of these, ‘Bourne’ being another name for river or stream.
    The East Bourne being the stream that runs down to beach behind the Glendale Hotel thus the West Bourne runs down to Cosmeston (most of this stream is now culverted) but on this old map (SEE END OF STORY ABOVE) it can be clearly seen and the site of the house collapse appears right on top of it.

    • Penileaks says:

      Nothing to do with ancient streams methinks, but all to do with lengths of 4×2 or 4×4, being used to support a vast weight above and the total incompetence of the contractors.
      The use of Sky Hooks might have been a more successful method 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Peter Church says:

      Here is your map and the current road structure superimposed (as best I can)

  7. Martin Coffee says:

    But Barry is not responsible for the method of working. It just approves the quality of build. I don’t see how they can take any responsibility for this.

  8. Mark Foster says:

    Is a Cardiff NHS Beauty Clinic doctor also selling items made from human skin? Here’s a really interesting story about Sid G and Vic G and their associate Helen Rimmer whose photograph is awaited.

  9. Peter Church says:

    Does anyone know who the builders were and did they submit a F10 form to the local HSE office?

    Under CDM Regulations the HSE should be notified, since this project would be notifiable both on duration and site man days.
    Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 says you must have relevant method statements on how you intend to carry out the works, both in a safe and controlled manner.
    Using wooden props is neither safe nor controlled.

    I hope prosecutions will follow.

    The Vale Building inspector, while yes their primary purpose is to see the new build meets current building regs, he/she does have an obligation under Health and Safety at work act 1974 (and the management of health and Safety work regulations 1999) to check the work is being carried in a safe and controlled manner and to report to the HSE and majors concerns. Using wooden props and effectively removing so much of the foundations right next to load bearing walls with out any ongoing underpinning should have set off alarm bells.

    • Greed breeds destruction says:

      This is a disgrace in every sense. Not just on the part of the council for allowing such an insanely precarious application to be undertaken by cowboys and proceed unsupervised but also on the part of the new owner whose greed and self-serving disregard has resulted in the destruction of a beautiful family home. Shame on all of them.

  10. Huw says:

    It amazing how many experts live in Penarth .

  11. Christopher David says:

    Barry Boy eh Huw! 😉

    • Huw says:

      That’s slander in my book Christopher !
      Penarth boy born and bred , and being in the game I can see the faults and flaws from the pictures. But it is purely down to bad practices and fault lies with the contractor and architect/project manager if they have one. People might not agree with it being given planning permission but to blame planners for contractors mistakes is ridiculous.

      • Christopher David says:

        Well Huw, to agree with you would make me guilty of culturism (sic) and so I would join you in the dock ha. As your in the game I’m sure your correct and nether would it be one of those cases of accidental lapses we used to see. I can’t comment on the technicalities of it, not my field.

  12. JonRat says:

    I just hope it is on Grand Designs !

  13. Jane Foster says:

    Wonder how much of his planned work will be covered in the insurance rebuild?

  14. Ian Symonds says:

    This was my family’s home for 32 years from 1982 to 2014 and was only put on the market due to changed family circumstances. Articles refer to renovation work being undertaken. This is incorrect – there was no renovation work needed, all that was needed from time to time was routine decoration and maintenance, such as you would expect from any large family house of the 1920s. All the work that we did was in keeping with the original 1920s style. We are absolutely distraught about what has happened to our much-loved former family home. It is as though an old friend or relative has been physically abused and we are honoured that this house, our friend, let us share 32 years of our lives together. We have so many happy memories of that house which will be with us forever – the children knew no other home. I know that when you sell a house then your interest in that house should come to an end but can you ever really let go when it has been so integral to your family story for so long. Seeing these images is heartbreaking. I am having to be very careful about what I say but I cannot understand how planning permission to double the size of an already large house was granted and why were procedures not in place or adhered to concerning quality of workmanship or safety. This is an absolute disgrace and questions need to be asked and answers given.

    • Sarah says:

      Ian, I agree with you. Why was planning given to put in all these very intrusive and extensive alterations in a beautiful character property? The plans seem very out of keeping with the original purpose and style of 1920’s properties. I also understand about the emotional memory that you have attached to the house. ‘Home’ for everyone is about so much more than bricks and mortar, especially when you are looking back on a place where you raised your children. I left Clinton Road in 1985, and felt incredibly sad when I saw these pictures. If it had been my actual house, I can’t begin to imagine how I’d feel.

      • Ian Symonds says:

        Thank you Sarah. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. This is especially hard for the children.

  15. The Tax payer says:

    Looks like they will now need to build a complete new house. Bet that was never intended in the first place !!!!!
    They should be made to rebuild to match the existing property. But we all know that want happen in the Vale

  16. Andrew sarchus says:

    Hmm- who are the real present owners?

  17. ColaniXL says:

    A question that’s been raised a few times already but exactly who were the builders on this project? I wouldn’t want them near my property with a barge pole (or 4X2 timber for that matter!)

  18. Sue Dentten says:

    Did it fall or was it pushed?

Comments are closed.